Independence Events Center is now Silverstein Eye Centers Arena

Dignitaries spoke at the renaming ceremony Wednesday in Independence.
Dignitaries spoke at the renaming ceremony Wednesday in Independence. jsleezer@kcstar.com

The Independence Events Center now will be known as the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.

Community officials announced the new name during a Wednesday ceremony.

Steven Silverstein, who operates the eye centers, has been a community and philanthropic leader across eastern Jackson County, said Independence Mayor Eileen Weir.

The city, which owns the arena, will benefit from the higher profile his name will give it, Weir added.

“I believe that Dr. Silverstein’s reputation and his regional brand really raises the profile of the events center,” Weir said. “I know this partnership will continue to make the center a first-class destination.”

The 5,800-seat arena opened at the corner of Interstate 70 and Missouri 291 in November 2009.

To finance construction of the $68 million facility, the city issued $64.9 million in bonds and also used about $4 million in tax increment financing funds.

According to the naming rights contract, the Silverstein organization will pay $2.75 million over 10 years, said Todd Mitchell, arena general manager.

“It’s a great partnership for us,” Mitchell said.

“Dr. Silverstein has been a sponsor here for several years and we are excited to have him at the naming rights level.”

The building’s principal tenants have been the Missouri Mavericks hockey team and the Missouri Comets indoor soccer team. B.B. King, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Rogers and Alice Cooper have been among the entertainers who have performed there.

The building also has hosted community events such as high school graduations.

Independence awarded a venue management contract to Global Spectrum of Philadelphia in July 2014. The venue management company now is known as Spectra by Comcast Spectacor.

Exterior signage reflecting the building’s new name is expected to be in place for the Oct. 24 Missouri Mavericks home opener.

Brian Burnes: 816-234-4120, @BPBthree